North Texas Daily

Dallas band to open 20th annual Edgefest as first gig

Dallas band to open 20th annual Edgefest as first gig

April 29
21:25 2010

By Nicole Landry / Staff Writer –

With a new EP ready for release and the opportunity to open at Edgefest XX on Saturday, vocalist Brandon McInnis and his band Unfathom have come a long way from Japanese pop.

When McInnis was a senior at Austin College last year, he became interested in the Japanese music scene while studying abroad. Joining forces with guitarist Derek Troxtell, he formed a project that would later become Unfathom as it is today.

“We met with some people, and they liked [our music],” said McInnis, “But they were hesitant. I think it’s probably because I’m not Japanese.”

After coming back to the States, McInnis decided that the band needed an overhaul. With a new American rock focus, they spent the next six months writing music and rearranging band members. The final incarnation of Unfathom, who will perform for the first time Saturday, consists of McInnis, Troxtell, Derek’s cousin Nick Troxtell on bass guitar, Lisa Chou on keyboards and Stephanie Thornton on drums.

“We just have fun when we play,” Troxtell said. “We feed off each other’s energy.”

It was Thornton who told McInnis about the 102.1 KDGE-FM contest to have a local band open at Edgefest, the alternative rock festival the station holds every year.

“Stephanie had heard from a friend that the Edge was doing the local band contest,” McInnis said. “We had just finished recording [“Can’t See,” the EP] in the studio a couple days before.”

After submitting its music, the band forgot about the contest until it heard it was one of the 20 bands picked as finalists.

The contest’s winners would be chosen by online votes, so the band told everyone they know to vote. McInnis even had some friends from Japan voting.

“We’re very excited,” Troxtell said. “We’re hoping Edgefest can open new doors for us.”

A few of the bands that inspire Unfathom — Paramore, Three Days Grace and Metric — will also perform at Edgefest, which is one of the more exciting aspects of McInnis and Troxtell.

“We can’t wait to get to meet some of these bands,” McInnis said. “I draw inspiration from Paramore’s sound and how they combine soft and more heavy sounds.”

In their song, “Stand Down,” the influence of Paramore is apparent atop the song’s electronic pop-rock feel. Much like Hayley Williams, Paramore’s vocalist, McInnis’ singing style has a spoken-word quality to it. In addition to Thornton’s drumming, which adds a steady beat beneath McInnis’ vocals, Chou’s synth skills provide a smooth tone underneath the quiet rhythms of the Troxtell cousins.

“We try to convey [emotion] in all our music,” Troxtell said. “We understand each other and our music.”

The doors of Frisco’s Pizza Hut Park will open for Edgefest at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and Unfathom will take the stage at 11:20 a.m.

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